* Sees 2012 average cost of sales at $125-$130 per tonne
* Sees 2012 capital budget about $80 mln
* 2011 sales fell 12 pct to 1.55 mln tonnes
* Shares down as much as 9 pct (Adds mine details, share movement)
April 15 (Reuters) - Canada’s Grande Cache Coal Corp cut its 2012 coal sales forecast by about 8 percent as production at one of its mines in Alberta is delayed, sending the metallurgical coal miner’s shares down as much as 9 percent.
The No. 8 Pit, located in the Smoky River Coalfield, has been plagued with various problems. While the delay in the third phase of production will hurt 2012, lower-than-expected production in the first and second phases forced the company to keep lowering its outlook for 2011. [ID:nSGE70A0AK]
The company’s production problems come at a time when the prices for metallurgical, or coking, coal have been driven up by strong demand from China and India and tighter supply due to floods in Queensland, Australia.
Grand Cache now expects to produce 2.2-2.4 million tonnes of coal in 2012, down from its previous forecast of 2.4-2.6 million tonnes, it said in a statement.
The average cost of sales in 2012 is expected to be $125-$130 per tonne, similar to fiscal 2011.
Sales in the fourth quarter fell 14 percent while the average sales price of met coal was about $192 per tonne. Sales in fiscal 2011 fell about 12 percent to 1.55 million tonnes.
The company, however, said it still expects to grow annual production to 3.5 million tonnes by the end of fiscal 2013.
Grand Cache said it is in the initial stages of production in the No. 8 Pit.
The company’s shares, which have fallen about 6 percent since its reported results in early February, fell to a low of C$8.88. They later recovered some losses to trade down 3 percent at C$9.06 in afternoon trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Amrita Sabina in Bangalore; Editing by Pre Udayabhanu and Don Sebastian)